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Published On: Mon, Jul 29th, 2013

Video confirms the conspiracy theory: Your vehicle can be hacked

The conspiracy theory that hackers can take control of your car was put to the test in a recent YouTube videos.

screenshot speedometer 199 miles per high during hackThe experiment was organized by Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg, who wanted to see just how vulnerable cars are to hacking by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, two researchers who received an $80,000 grant from the Pentagon’s research wing, DARPA, to study such vulnerabilities.

The result is a resounding “Yes they can” as Miller,

The scary answer — shown in a video report — to how vulnerable is “very.”

Take for example that Miller, while plugged into the car’s computer system in the back seat — could do things like change how much fuel the car appears to have, alter the speedometer reading, actually turn the steering wheel, honk the horn, and even mess with the brakes.

Greenberg details more from the adventure and the company’s response:

As I drove their vehicles for more than an hour, Miller and Valasek showed that they’ve reverse-engineered enough of the software of the Escape and the Toyota Prius (both the 2010 model) to demonstrate a range of nasty surprises: everything from annoyances like uncontrollably blasting the horn to serious hazards like slamming on the Prius’ brakes at high speeds. They sent commands from their laptops that killed power steering, spoofed the GPS and made pathological liars out of speedometers and odometers. Finally they directed me out to a country road, where Valasek showed that he could violently jerk the Prius’ steering at any speed, threatening to send us into a cornfield or a head-on collision. “Imagine you’re driving down a highway at 80 ,” Valasek says. “You’re going into the car next to you or into oncoming traffic. That’s going to be bad times.”

A Ford spokesman says the company takes hackers “very seriously,” but Toyota, for its part, says it isn’t impressed by Miller and Valasek’s stunts: Real carhacking, the company’s safety manager John Hanson argues, wouldn’t require physically jacking into the target car. “Our focus, and that of the entire auto industry, is to prevent hacking from a remote wireless device outside of the vehicle,” he writes in an e-mail, adding that Toyota engineers test its vehicles against wireless attacks. “We believe our systems are robust and secure.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. Car Hackers - Internet Users Handbook says:

    […] Video confirms the conspiracy theory: Your vehicle can be hacked […]

  2. Car hackers - Internet Crime Fighters Organization says:

    […] Video confirms the conspiracy theory: Your vehicle can be hacked […]

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